directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Boll breaker

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Boll breaker

The Dispatch is reporting that Jared Boll has a broken hand.

"It was kind of what happened to (Dan) Fritsche at the end of last season," Boll said yesterday as he arrived in Columbus with a cast on the hand. "The doctor said it was a clean break. It didn't even require surgery."

Sounds like it should be healed up and ready to go by camp but as I mentioned in the comments yesterday I hope the Jackets training staff tape his gloves on during camp to make sure he's 100% healthy come the regular season. We need him and his hands ready to go when the games count.

This should open the door even wider for guys like Dorsett and Sestito to do the heavy lifting in preseason games with veteran guys like Tollefsen and Commodore to back them up.

The Dispatch also reported that Raffi Torres is in town to begin workouts with conditioning coach Barry Brennan. I'm not sure what it is but I just don't get a warm and fuzzy over Torres' progression with this torn ACL (or what is MCL?). I hope they stay nice and patient with Torres and if it means missing camp and the start of the regular season to make sure he's 100% then so be it.

I keep reading and hearing that he should be ready by camp so lets keep our fingers crossed.

For you autograph junkies out there according to the Jackets web site Derrek Brassard will be signing autographs on Saturday, August 9 from 1-2 p.m. at the Giant Eagle located at McCutcheon & Stelzer - 2900 Stelzer Road in Columbus.

They've also added Jakub Voracek to the autograph lineup with Sestito and Dorsett over at the Columbus Zoo on Aug. 6 from 6-7 p.m.

Bravo to the Jackets and these players for getting out in the community and promoting this great game and franchise this offseason. I know they are in town so why not but I can't remember this many players getting out into the community so often in the offseason. Then again the Jackets have never had this many young players stay in Columbus over the summer. The "Boll effect" continues to steamroll.

Marian Gaborik wants out of Minny according to this blogger. Granted its a blog and we all know how much credit we can gives those guys *snicker* but there sure seems to be a lot of smoke around this Gaborik situation. Seeing that he'll be a UFA after this season this is one rumor I see having some legs.

I'm not sure I buy this KHL threat though. Sure its an option and players are most certainly going to use it as leverage but the stars want to play with the stars in the best league in the world and for the time being that is the NHL. No start up league is going to conquere that in a year.

I'd be shocked if Gaborik is a member of the Wild this time next year. If he's not signed to an extension the Wild may have no choice but trade him by the deadline as they can't afford to let a guy like that walk for nothing.

The Nashville Tennesean is reporting that the IIHF will make its ruling on the status of disputed Predators star Alexander Radulov in mid-August. If one were to connect the dots here one would also conclude (or at least think) that the Nkita Filatov situation will also be ruled on.

Terri Fry of wrote an article today ranking the league's coaches in terms of Elite, Proven, The jury's still out, Suspect & How the heck can we know yet. Here is where Hitch fell:

Ken Hitchcock, Columbus
Even more than Babcock and some of the others, Hitchcock is the quintessential worked-his-way-up coach who used to crack up the writers on the Western League circuit when he looked more like -- and sounded like -- John Candy. Somewhat inflexible and grating on veterans who wouldn't mind opening it up, he is still a great ambassador for the league and has Cups -- Memorial and Stanley -- on his résumé.

I love to see him add "first coach to take the Columbus Blue Jackets to the playoffs" this season to that résumé.

Update: takes a look at some players stock - they had this to say about Huselius:

Kristian Huselius, LW, Columbus A four-year, $19 million deal got Huselius to pull up stakes in Calgary and bolt for Columbus. We will have to wait until the 2008-09 season to witness whether it was a smart move or not. Huselius was traded from Florida to Calgary during the 2005-06 season and his career then began to take off. He had career seasons in 2006-07 and 2007-08 with the Flames and it primarily had to do with playing opposite Jarome Iginla. Well, Iginla is staying in Calgary and now Huselius is being asked to improve an average Blue Jackets' offense. He is situated behind Rick Nash on the depth chart at left wing and Columbus doesn't nearly have the talent at center that Calgary does. It would not surprise us if Huselius struggles to break 50 points next season.

You never can tell with the Jackets offense so really can't blame the skepticism. Jackets and guys like Huselius will have to prove it on the ice.

Bill Clement over on hockeybuzz weighs on his offseason views and believe it or not -- nothing negative on Jackets signing although Redden and Hainsey made his list:

Worst Signing Rangers – Wade Redden (6 yrs/$39m) The term of 6 years is absolutely stunning. You’ll never meet a nicer guy than Wade Redden and that’s part of the problem. Unless he somehow can start the season playing like he did 5 years ago the Garden fans will let him hear it and when that happens, the “good guy” will feel even more pressure. Pressure that will be extremely difficult to handle. Expectations are often a curse for certain players and I think they will be for Redden. This is one of those times I really hope I’m wrong.

Most Desperate Signing #1: Maple Leafs – Jeff Finger (4 yrs/$14m) Finger is 28 with one full NHL season to his credit. Last season? 19 points and $900K. Leafs got the Finger all right.

#2 :Thrashers – Ron Hainsey (5 yrs/$22.5m) Hainsey is 27 and has only played 3 years in the NHL. Top season is 34 points. He made $900k last year. This signing pretty well tells you not many UFA’s had Atlanta in their cross-hairs.

Hey we missed out on Redden but that also meant we missed on some "worst of" lists. I'll happily take the consolation prize in Tyutin and move forward.

The Hockey News speculates that the Jackets will be better than most give them credit for:

Columbus Blue Jackets: It must be hard being the only team to have not made the playoffs in their short history, but I think they’re going to be better than what many give them credit for.

Everyone knows Rick Nash can score, but has he ever had anyone else to support him in his area of expertise? The Jackets are hoping Kristian Huselius can do just that, while R.J. Umberger will be counted on to reach 20 goals for the second time in his career.

If Pascal Leclaire can improve on his breakout 2007-08 season – or at least show it wasn’t a fluke – Columbus will always be in a position to win games. The defense that will be supporting Leclaire is not all-star caliber, though it is underrated. Fedor Tyutin was let go by the Rangers too easily and Kris Russell should be ready to step into the NHL spotlight, which will be easier to do on a smaller market team.

While my own expectations for the Jackets aren’t through the roof, they should be closer than the 11 points they missed the playoffs by last season. Look for them to be in the thick of things right into April, 2009.

Hey some positive press -- I'll take it!!



Anonymous said...

Lindy Ruff, Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz in the 'elite' category? That just pisses me off.

What the eff has Ruff done in this league to be an 'elite' coach other than not get fired? It isn't like he has the longest tenure AND made the playoffs every year. He has been a product of his roster (had Hasek in his prime, therefore went far) and then had that run and gun team custom built for post lockout hockey. How many times has he missed the playoffs in all that time he has been with buffalo? 4 TIMES. 4 times out of 10 years--he has never won a cup although going to round 3 three times, he has never been able to put his team over the edge.

Apparently keeping a job for a long time takes precedent over winning a cup according to this guy because Trotz is in the same boat. Although with an expansion team, he gets a bit of a pass on the missing the playoffs for 5 straight years, but in the last 4 years that he has made them, he hasn't gotten his team out of the 2nd round. Proven? Sure, but elite? Come on.

If Lemaire (who has won one championship) and missed the playoffs 5 times is elite, surely to god Hitchcock--one championship and only missed the playoffs ONCE in any full season coached has to at least be in the same category.

mike said...

That's cool, with Sestito, Dorsett, Brassard & Voracek doing the sessions. I know for sure I will be @ Giant Eagle for Brassard, meanwhile it is up in the air for the event @ the zoo. Depends on if I am in Columbus as of that day with a class @ OSU on Thursday. Anywho, best wishes to Boller and Raffi on their recoveries.

Erik said...


The Hockeynews article is a nice read... the writer is cautiously optimistic... that made me happy.. .THEN I read the user comments.. with the following nuggets:

"Florida and Columbus? Gimme a break. Nobody cares about these team and that includes the citizens of Ohio and it just doesn't matter whet the h*ll they do."

"Ouuuuuu! Ottawa is being mentioned with teams the calibre of Columbus and Florida..... right where they belong!!!! Haha oh you're so wrong Rory, none of these teams will go anywhere next year. Sens will probably make the playoffs but then get swept by the HABS in the first!"

And ofcourse the write threw in the following:
"Who will it be this year? If a team has already been called out as being ready for a breakthrough, they won’t be listed here. So don’t be shocked and offended if you think Phoenix or Chicago should be on this list, it’s not even training camp and they already have to improve to avoid any disappointment."

Hitch should browse the internet and get some of the nasties articles and post them in the room...

I can't wait to face Chicago and Phoenix now... the skill the writers so adore versus the cement trucks..

Can the season start already...

LTL said...

Yeah I hear ya Erik. I want the Jackets and this market to shut those people up in the worst way.

The only way that's going to happen though is to get it done on the ice -- there is abosultely NO doubt in my mind that once this market puts out a winner there will be a buzz around this team never before seen and even more than we die hards expected.

Is this year? Gawd I hope so.


Erik said...


The current problem is that this team has never delivered. There is no doubt in my mind that this team will be very competitive, and in the playoff run till the end. Whether they make it or not is to be seen.. The experts seem to think there is no chance in hell, I believe its very possible for the CBJ to make the playoffs. You are right we need to prove it on the ice.. The press loves the young talent that is in Phoenix and Chicago, both teams are suddenly praised as playoff teams when they added 2 or 3 players in the off season... What is the reasoning here, the PHI and CHI rosters are slightly enhanced from last year.. and last year they didn’t make it. The CBJ were in a very similar situation as PHI and CHI last year, although they had better records in the last quarter of the season. The CBJ disposed of aging and troubling/struggling players (Fedorov, Foote, Vyborny, Fritsche, Zherdev, Tarnstrom, Brule, etc..) and added proven NHL players in Huselius, Umberger, Commodore, Torres, Tyutin and Backman.. Not to mention the possibility of our young talent (brassard, voracek and Filatov) stepping up to Kane/Toews levels this year..
Not only did we trim the fat we added muscle.. CHI/PHX still have some fat lingering around.. Do you think the CBJ would have gotten as much praise as CHI and PHI if they added Redden and Morrison?? They probably would have labeled them the worst signings hands down. The CBJ transformation is one of the best off-seasons in the NHL this year. The best has to be the Red Wings, keeping the best team in the league intact and adding Hossa is just plain frickin wrong. Am I the only one who thinks Campbell and Jokinen are overrated??

Jeremy said...


Lot of good points! I still cannot wait until this season starts!!!!!!!!

With that said and to answer your question, yes I think Campbell is overated. In my opinion he is a defensive liability. Ollie, I am not sure, as I did not see too many FLA games if you know what I am saying.

Erik said...

Campbell is probably one of the better offensive minded Defensemen in the game, I agree..
He relies upon those same offensive skills (his skating/puck handling) to play defense. I think he can be manhandled of the puck, and will have a though time with forwards like Modin and Nash who are 6'+ and use their bodies well along the boards.. Jokinen is just such a risk, you never know what you are going to get.. maybe he will play very well under the great the one.. but I think he will have a though time adjusting to the systematic west versus the run-and-gun east..

Erik said...


from the Dispatch:

"The agent for Nikita Filatov said Wednesday that the Blue Jackets’ first-round pick could have his work visa by the end of the week.

Don Meehan, who also represents goalie Pascal Leclaire, is optimistic the U.S. Consulate in Moscow will issue the work document in the coming days although the wait might stretch into next week.

The agent said Filatov, the No. 6 overall pick, already has been through the interview process and U.S. officials have his passport on file. Filatov probably won’t leave Russia immediately, Meehan said. The forward will spend a little more time at home before flying to Columbus.

Meehan also reiterated that the pending IIHF ruling regarding the disputed contracts of Filatov and five other players will have no bearing on his decision to play for the Jackets’ organization."